Once upon a time not so long ago in college libraries, there was a settled pattern of relationships in the research process. Instructors sent students to find information in books and journals, and librarians helped them do it. One key basis of these relationships was authority: that is, the search for reliable sources. Behind this search, however, lurked a hidden struggle over who determined reliability and who provided access. Before the digital age, information derived its authority from author credentials and the reputation of a limited number of publishers. The authority of instructors to accept or reject content as valuable rested on their academic credentials and content knowledge. Furthermore, instructors provided the context for information seeking, since they authorized students' research in the first place. At the same time, the authority of librarians to select and provide access to published information was based on their credentials and their access to bibliographic tools. Students, however, had little authority when it came to information seeking and relied on instructors for content knowledge and on librarians to teach them how to find and evaluate information. Nevertheless, while students began their college careers with little authority to evaluate or access information, they gained it as part of the initiation into research that college provided.